Are you feeling frustrated with your lack of reaction to cannabis edibles? Explore the many different reasons why edibles don’t work for everyone and get my tips and tricks for things to try and enhance your experience!

How This Guide Can Help You

Many people rave about how cannabis edibles make them feel.

Not only do they help to relieve pain and other unwanted symptoms, but THC edibles also can produce an intense high.

Unfortunately, several people feel frustrated and left out because they have never felt that high from an edible before.

A member from my Well With Cannabis Community recently just asked me: “why don’t edibles get me high?”

My answer? There could be multiple different reasons! And you’re going to have to do some detective work to find out what is going on with you.

In this guide, we will explore a few reasons why edibles may not be working for you and some different techniques you can try to see if you can change the way your body responds.

Why Edibles Don’t Work For Everyone

Before getting started – if you’re brand new – I want you to first read my beginner’s guide to edibles.

I also want you to know that your tolerance for smoking, vaping, or inhaling has no bearing on your tolerance for edibles.

With that being said, a lot of people enjoy edibles over smoking for a myriad of reasons. The most common reason is health-related.

Another reason is the experience. The high from THC in edibles can be stronger and offer a different, whole-body experience.

With edibles, you can also enjoy a sustained high. The intoxicating effects have been known to last for at least four hours or more.

Additionally, edibles are pretty convenient as they are easy to consume, and discreet, especially around others.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same experience with edibles. There’s a number of people who report not feeling any effect at all.

If this is you, there are some reasons why this may be happening. We will explore them more in-depth below.

  1. You didn’t decarb first
  2. You didn’t consume enough
  3. Your body doesn’t process THC the same way
  4. Your tolerance has increased

You Didn’t Decarb First

If you have never made an edible before, understand that you need to decarb your cannabis first.

Decarbing is a straightforward process that can easily be done by baking your cannabis in an oven or Instant Pot.

If you skip this process, you will be unlikely to feel the effects of your edibles.

Remember, flower buds, trim, kief, and many concentrates all need to be decarbed.

You Didn’t Consume Enough

A friend of mine once said that she felt absolutely nothing after consuming edibles. As it turns out, she just needed a higher dose for it to kick in.

Just like how fast edibles kick in is different for everyone, the amount you need to feel the effect can also differ.

While some people get high with as little as 2mg of THC, others do so at 30mg, while others won’t feel the effect until the dosing is past 100mg or more.

All that depends on your level of tolerance to THC. It may take some time and experimentation to find your sweet spot.

Your Body Doesn’t Process THC The Same Way

What about people who feel absolutely nothing, even after waiting for a long time or taking a relatively high dosage of edibles?

It is a unique phenomenon that not even scientists can fully explain yet. What we do know is that all bodies metabolize all chemicals differently, and THC is no exception.

With that said, here are some of the reasons that may be causing you a hard time getting high from edibles.

  1. Lack of liver enzymes
  2. No gallbladder
  3. Surgery, gastric bypass

Lack of Liver Enzymes

When THC is digested, it is processed by the liver into a metabolite known as 11-OH-THC. It is this compound, not the THC, that causes the high.

Enzymes are responsible for converting THC into 11-OH-THC. Therefore, if there is a lack of these enzymes, the conversion does not happen, nor does the high experience.

Physiological differences or changes in the body may cause a decrease in these liver enzymes.

According to a study in the International Journal of Legal Medicine, how your body metabolizes THC and which enzymes it produces can vary greatly depending on your genes (1). Poor metabolizers of THC had the presence of a CYP2C9 gene variant.

This means that for some individuals, not reacting to edibles may be genetic, and there may not be anything that can be done to change that.

Gallbladder

Many people claim a lack of gallbladder is to blame, but this is purely anecdotal.

For every person who has told me they have no gallbladder and don’t feel the effects of edibles, I’ve had another tell me they have no gallbladder and do feel the effects of edibles.

However, if you had your gallbladder removed, the effects of edibles can be either delayed or have a more rapid onset.

The gallbladder breaks down fats and makes them usable/absorbable, so fat-based preparations like butter and oils may not be processed by your body effectively.

Alcohol-based tinctures like the Green dragon or Golden dragon may be a better choice to try.

Your Tolerance Has Increased

You may wonder why you used to feel the effects of edibles, and now they don’t work for you.

This is because physiological changes associated with continuous use can change how you experience the high.

Over time, your body’s tolerance to THC and other cannabinoids increases. This means you simply need to take a larger dose to feel the same effect.

To counteract this, you may need to take a tolerance break.

Tips & Tricks To Try

So, are there any solutions to being “ediblocked”? Well, yes. Here are a few options to try:

  1. Try digestive enzymes
  2. Try consuming with a meal or fat
  3. Try consuming with mango
  4. Move onto alternative methods

Digestive Enzymes

Supplementing with digestive enzymes may help to offset the lack of liver enzymes produced in the body.

Anecdotal reports suggest that trying enzymes along with your edibles can help you feel the high faster and make it last longer.

Digestive enzymes are available OTC at your local store or online, but be sure to check with your doctor before trying something new.

Consume with a Meal or Fat

Some people find that taking edibles on an empty stomach produces little to no effect, while taking edibles with a meal produces a much better result.

Cannabinoids are lipophilic, meaning they are attracted to fat. When paired with fat, the bioavailability is increased, meaning your body can use it more effectively.

And when you eat a meal, your digestive system works the way it should, producing enzymes to break down the food. This can help initiate the enzyme breakdown needed to convert THC into 11-OH-THC.

Pair With Mango

Anecdotally, consuming mangoes with edibles can help some people significantly. Mangoes have a terpene called myrcene that can enhance your cannabis experience.

The psychoactive element in THC is said to react with the terpenes from the mango, as part of the Entourage Effect, to enhance your high.

You can eat edibles alongside fresh mangoes, or you can make edibles that use mangoes as an active ingredient. Check out my mango edible recipes here.

Try Alternative Methods

If, after careful patience and experimentation, you find that edibles do not work for you, it may be time to move on to different consumption methods.

Edibles are just one of the five main cannabis application methods commonly used. Next, you can try:

  • Sublingual – when placed under the tongue cannabis can be absorbed into the bloodstream
  • Inhalation – it doesn’t have to be smoking, you can try vaping or dry herb vaping
  • Topical – apply your favorite cannabis products directly to the skin for localized relief
  • Suppository – when placed inside the body cannabis can be absorbed into the bloodstream

Final Thoughts

Edibles can be great, but they are not always great for everyone.

I hope this guide gives you some clarity as to why this may be happening, and some new tips and tricks to try to enhance your experience!

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Emily,
    I would like to know if I can use my decarbed,
    ground cannabis mixed in chocolate bars or cookies or is it better to
    use cannabis butter instead?
    Kathy

  2. Hi Kathy. Yes, you can use decarbed, ground cannabis mixed in chocolate bars or cookies. However, it is important to note that using decarbed cannabis directly in baked goods can sometimes result in a grainy texture. If you want to avoid this, using cannabutter would be best.

  3. Hi Emily,
    You mention gastric bypass as a possible reason edibles won’t work for some people but you never explain that reason in any detail. I believe I’m in that position. I notice that when I drink alcohol I feel the effects very quickly but they also go away very quickly. With edibles I only feel slightly weird, not high. Do you have any advice?

  4. Hi Wendy. In gastric bypass procedures, a large part of the stomach is bypassed, and the size of the remaining stomach is significantly reduced, which changes how food and other substances are digested and absorbed in your body. When it comes to edibles, the active ingredients, such as THC, are usually absorbed in the intestines, but because gastric bypass surgery alters the digestive system, the absorption process is affected, which usually leads to weaker or delayed effects.

    If you’re finding that edibles aren’t working well for you, it could be worth exploring sublinguals, which are absorbed through the mouth rather than the digestive system. Easy Cannabis-Infused MCT Oil is our most popular sublingual guide and recipe! I hope this helps, but please don’t hesitate to reach back out if you have more questions. 😁

  5. Hello Emily!

    I have been using cannabis for about 40+ years and I utilize cannabis concentrates for inhalation exclusively, by virtue of significantly higher tolerance than average folks. I wanted to transition to edibles or tinctures, as I’m seeking alternatives to inhalation; however nothing works and I get no effects at all and I mean nothing, including powerful edibles in all forms, capsules, tinctures, and it’s frustrating. I read that using a digestive enzyme might work, because I may not possess the digestive enzyme in my liver and I need this CPY2C9 enzyme as apparently it’s been said that “a gene known as CPY2C9 is behind the enzyme that helps metabolize THC”……….please advise about this and a potential product to try and how long before taking edibles, do I take the digestive enzymes (I saw some available on Amazon)?………Much thanks for your help and advisement- I’ll be very Grateful……….

  6. Hi Joseph. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experience. It’s possible that variations in the CPY2C9 enzyme, which metabolizes THC in the liver, might affect how your body responds to edibles. Trying a digestive enzyme supplement could be an option. These are typically taken just before or with a meal. However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is unique and may react differently to supplements. It’s highly recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. We appreciate your curiosity and openness to trying new solutions, and we’re here to support you on this journey. Good luck!